Tales of a petrolhead chapter 5:Clean slate and start over.
Recomended songs for this read: Initial D-parting & Initial D-Affectionate
That morning after that incident in which I found out why A had left the party in such a hurry was still full of clouds after the snowfall that followed, the cold weather refused to leave the once sunny city of Valencia.
My E46 gently glided on the asphalt as I took a look at the steering wheel while watching my speed on the secondary road that headed towards the local impound lot. I still couldn’t believe what had happened to my friend that night… apparently one of his best friends that went to visit him for Christmas passed away on the hospital last night, I still remember seeing that huge scratch on the concrete barrier and a few pieces of rear bumper along with a side mirror thrown away where he lost control but still kept on driving dripping fluids making a trail that led to the hospital, and then seeing his beaten up Impreza stopped at the emergency entrance of the hospital about to be towed, it was still idling and throwing a bit of smoke as I noticed the radiator leak and a bit of oil on the asphalt.
Although I managed to convince the driver of the tow truck to just tow the car out of the emergency entrance I afterwards went into reception and asked where my friend had gone, he was in the B block on the west wing of emergencies
Room B-56 Floor number 3 just as the receptionist on duty told me.
The door was still open when I arrived, I found him lying on the ground unconscious, a doctor was examining him to see what had happened but I knew immediately that he didn`t endure realizing what had happened to one of his best friends, with the help of my father that was currently on duty about to leave home I carried him to the car despite the protests of a greedy doctor and took him to my house and put his fainted body on my bed, afterwards I called my friends to tell the plan had been canceled, now Alvaro sat in the passenger seat looking at the side of the road in absolute silence still visibly saddened by what had happened.
"Hey, what does Bmw mean in my steering wheel? I've forgotten it…" I tried to cheer him up by asking him a simple car knowledge question he eagerly answered but this time he looked at me and vaguely replied "Bavarian motor works, an airplane engine company…" it didn`t work at all.
“This red light says something about TCS ..." I said before hearing him sigh annoyed, it was obvious that he wanted to be left alone with his thoughts.
I looked at the entrance roundabout and although my impulses told me that a good drift around the roundabout would wake him up from that melancholy state I decided to leave him alone and continue driving as usual, the gate to the impound lot opened and drove inside, parking next to the office I told him to wait inside the car… it would be better to leave some time for him to think.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------sighing in a bit of burden I left the car of my friend and closed the door behind me, my friend had shouted a little to me in the morning scared that I had got on a fatal accident after seeing that scratch against the barrier in that U-turn, even if I told him the reason of why I kept on driving he told me about the policemen`s reactions, that flash I saw during my jump was nothing else but a speed trap placed at the underpass exit in an opportunistic way, it snapped the picture with my car lifting off the ground… my little rush to the hospital even reached the news under the tittle of “extremely dangerous driver takes flight” “kamikaze driver lifts off ground” if only those bastards knew what I had went through…they would apologize on their knees.
After 20 minutes I was allowed in the impound lot, that night I lost one of my friends even If I pushed hard until the last second… I still wasn’t fast enough to make it on time.
It took only a short walk trough the labyrinth of abandoned or vandalized cars to end up finding my ride… I could see the smashed front bumper along those black T-37 RAYS wheels
"What have I done..." I said to myself, approaching it slowly, according to Joaquín, the engine had run out of water and oil after it hit the concrete barrier... that resulted in a catastrophic failure of the engine during the time I passed out in the room where she was.
I looked carefully at the front of my blob eye…the front bumper and the hood were completely smashed without counting the now useless engine, at least there was no serious damage to the chassis or to the steering components, although it was recoverable it would take a lot of hard work… the insurance would mark the Impreza as totaled and wouldn’t even bother to think of the possibility of fully repairing the car even if the chassis didn`t show any damage.
opening the hood with a bit of difficulty I looked at the carnage that I had unleashed that night, I could see oil still dripping escaping through the engine block along some dried-up gas, the smell was still strong even if 8 hours had passed.
the sound of a car horn made me jump abruptly, with a bit of anger in my body imagining that it was another of my friend's jokes to try and cheer me up I got ready to turn around and throw a punch in the face of whoever was behind me but before I could turn around I noticed the noise more clearly, it belonged to a 5 cylinder diesel engine with a bit of a knock issue… dad?! What he was doing here?!
He came out of the car and threw away the chewing gum he had on the mouth, silently he approached me and patted my shoulder somehow without saying a single word, he had found out about what happened last night and although I could feel a bit of anger towards my reckless driving which got aired on TV, I could tell he still was worried about how I was feeling and then greeted me.
“fuck ... what a savagery my son” he said upon looking at the damage the engine presented, he denied with his head and sighed before shutting close the car`s hood, he then slammed it a second time because the latch wouldn’t get in.
I explained what had happened, why the engine was like that but he didn`t listen to me, he simply told me to load the car on the trailer and just take it back home, talking would be something for later.
As our car made its way out of the impound and got into the highway, I kept looking behind us to see the smashed front of my Subaru making sure it was still in tow, two cars behind us my friend followed on the Bmw.
As we took our exit my father asked me why I hid this from them, and I had no more honest answer… I knew that the day I brought my dream car home my sister would try and destroy it on any single way, scratch it on the garage when I was taking a nap and say it happened on the city, pour sugar on the tank and say the engine broke because it wasn`t normal, crash it the day I allowed her to borrow it… and then act all innocent and say “see? If it was a normal car this wouldn`t have happened!” then immediately she would stuff in my face the advertisement for a CH-R hybrid Toyota or a modern Dacia Sandero with “sport” enhancements and say how sporty and futuristic the car was… I knew her too well to let any of that happen so I did what I had to do in order to preserve it.
“don’t worry son…if I got word of that she would have…” my father replied before noticing me staring again into the center of the dash, lost in blank thoughts about what to do next, his big hand reached over to my left hand and he put it on the gear stick, knowing what he wanted me to do I smiled… we used to do this when I was 10, still free of obligations and not a lot of worries behind my back, I dropped a gear as he accelerated slightly… he still knew how to cheer me up.
Eventually my father reached my hometown, the narrow streets without nobody at that hour of the morning to greet us but only a few old ladies standing by the town hall turned their heads to look at the wreckage being towed behind my father`s Volvo and the M3 that closely followed, almost like a funeral cortege, no questions were asked almost like if the situation itself asked for respect, we soon left them behind only for them to resume gawking at each other and talking about the private lives of their neighbors.
The Volvo came to a halt as my father patted my shoulder reassuring me, he switches the emergency lights and looks behind briefly before stepping out of the car and asking me to go and help unloading it into the garage.
aided by my friend and I the Impreza rolled off the trailer and aligned itself with the garage door, carefully I pushed the front and rolled the car backwards into the back of the garage as the wheels grunted a little on the concrete floor while moving in reverse, quickly heading to the driver side I pulled on the hand brake and halted the car before coming out and closing the door locking the car.
My friend Joaquin removed a bit of sweat from its forehead as my father went back outside to go connect the trailer back to his car, I then picked up an old dusty grey blanket with a few black oil stains over the Subaru to hide it from view, as soon I did it this tale was already over.
As I set a step on the street, I looked behind me one last time saying goodbye for now, closing the door and locking it behind me I sighed a bit in relief since it didn’t hurt a lot, but… I knew that a long time would go by before I had the money to resurrect it and drive it again as another petrolhead would do with their project car build and race, crash and fix… repeat.
but for now, this was my tale… tales from a petrolhead to be told to anyone looking for inspiration and looking for their dream car.